Disneyland Resort in California. Where the magic makes memories.
Six decades after its initial opening, Walt’s vision of a place where both children and parents can have fun together, is still doing exactly that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mum, dad, kid, aunt, uncle, grandparent, grandchild, or a big kid in adult's pants, you’re guaranteed a magical Disney experience.
1. You can see if you have what it takes to become an Avenger
Who doesn’t want to be a superhero? We’ve all dreamt of donning a cape, some extra tight tights and a sweet pair of red pants, right? And it doesn’t matter if you’re aged 10, or you wear a size 10 shoe (or pant for that matter) we all want superpowers. Disneyland’s Summer of Heroes Avengers Training Initiative will put you through rigorous (not really) Avenger training, with Black Widow and Hawkeye overseeing if you really have what it takes to be one of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Predominately for the kids, parents can sit in the audience and admire their fledgling’s super skills; various on-stage exercises and challenging missions. Part training camp and part stunt show, it’s a fun one for all ages, but 6-10 years olds will particularly love the hijinks.
2. You can experience the entire world in one day
Unlikely you mutter, but you most definitely can at Grizzly Peak in Disney California Adventure Park. Home to Soarin’ Around the World, one of Disneyland Resort's most popular rides, and at the forefront of virtual travel, it uses a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX projection dome to transport passengers on a global whirlwind ride on a soaring hang glider. From the Great Wall of China to the Great Pyramids of Egypt, you can introduce your kids to all the landmarks of the world, while never leaving California.
3. The classics are always getting a revamp
For as much as pint-sized Disney fans adore the latest and greatest Disney characters, a touch of nostalgia never goes amiss. Adults who revel in the golden-age of Disney won’t want to miss the Alice in Wonderland ride. You’ll be led down a rabbit hole and into the wonderfully weird world of Alice. There’s also Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Peter Pan’s Flight and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, which not only thrill the older family members, but because they’re so timeless, they always enthral the youngsters too. And we couldn’t let you go to Disneyland without recommending the classic Haunted Mansion. Having first opened in 1969 it’s a golden oldie, but that’s not to say the famed ‘doom-buggys’ ever get boring. Home to 999 epic haunts, you’ll be just as jumpy as the kids of 69.
4. It's designed entirely for families
Which in turn, reduces the number of family holiday meltdowns. Hallelujah. In Disneyland you’re more likely to have one of the most stress-free (and dare we say, easy) holidays of your life due to the park’s focus on families. Getting around is quick and efficient (that’ll reduce the children’s tantrums). There are ample family-friendly bathrooms, water fountains, snack kiosks, restaurants and stroller rentals (that’ll reduce the parent’s paddies too).
5. The Rider Switch Service is incredible
Disneyland’s Rider Switch Service allows you to tag team the ride-going process with your partner. So, if one of your kids doesn’t meet the height requirement, or simply doesn't want to go on a ride, one adult can wait with them while everyone else enjoys the attraction. Later, when they return, you can switcharoo and the waiting adult gets to go on the ride without having to wait in the regular line. Genius.
6. There’s an app which makes things even easier
The Disneyland app allows you to do all the following and more:
Check Wait Times
Make Dining Reservations
Reserve a table at your favourite restaurant.
Review or cancel upcoming restaurant reservations
View Disney PhotoPass® Photos
See Restaurant Menus
Find what you’re looking for quickly with GPS-enabled maps
Locate Favourite Characters
7. FastPass makes everything simple
Disneyland is big. We can’t stress this enough. The rides are as numerous as they are world-renowned and you will want to experience all your favourites. Disney FASTPASS Service is the best way to achieve this. Spend less time waiting in line with one of these. To use, look out for the FASTPASS Distribution points near the entrances of selected attractions (at both parks). FASTPASS is only available on a first-come, first-served basis so they can't always be guaranteed. The service is however, included free of charge in ALL ticket types.
8. Guardians of the Galaxy is your must-see 2017 attraction
Anyone who’s seen the movie will want to try the attraction. Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! Located in Disney California Adventure Park features many of the characters from “Guardians of the Galaxy” in a ride that’ll really push your limits. Not for the weak-kneed, it’s full of big drops and darkness. The Disney difference (and the reason why they excel at theme park rides) is all in the detail. Although this ride starts with a quick zip to the top, there are six different randomised adventures on the ascent, so it’ll probably be different each time you ride it. Also listen out for the classic rock songs which are as much part of the ride as the stomach-somersaulting free-fall drop. Tune in and hold onto your lunch, thrill-seekers.
9. The fun doesn't stop come nightfall
No way. Not at Disneyland. Even when the sun sets and the rides close, the entire park remains alive with magic. World of Color is a 25 minute long show featuring unforgettable scenes from both Disney and Disney Pixar films - streamed across an enormous water screen. Music, laser effects and lots of colour. Not to be missed. Plus, at Disneyland Park, guests can join Mickey Mouse as he dreams of heroic adventures and battles diabolical villains in the night-time spectacular Fantasmic! which in July, returned from a two year hiatus bigger and better than ever before.
HOT tip: There’s always the one girl who will light up the night; Tinker Bell. Forever on-hand to set off the park’s iconic firework show over Sleeping Beauty’s castle, you can’t miss this resolutely Disney tradition.
10. Adults are just as well looked after
Disney artwork/properties: ©Disney
It’s not just the children who live out their holiday fantasies at Disneyland. Those after something a little more adult-themed might want to visit the Disney California Adventure Park. Boasting a Napa Valley wine-tasting area as well as a Beach Boys soundtrack and rock band touring the grounds, there are still some perks in reaching adulthood.